Sports Direct Arena
Barclays Premier League
By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United 0
Manchester United 3 (Evans 8, Evra 16, Cleverley 71)
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90+4mins: Full time - Newcastle 0 Manchester United 3. Having trailed by two goals at the break, the Magpies came out fighting at the start of the second half and will point to a header from Papiss Cisse which appeared to cross the line but wasn't given. However, Tom Cleverley's majestic third wrapped the game up and it's a fair result in the end, even if the scoreline is a little harsh on Alan Pardew's side. It's only the fifth home defeat of the manager's reign but one Newcastle must recover from in time for their next game - the derby at Sunderland.
90mins: Paul Scholes is booked for a foul on Ameobi - although having awarded a free-kick, Webb only called him over after the home fans made their feelings known. There will be four minutes of stoppage time but no 'Fergie time' is needed for Manchester United today - they wrapped this game up some time ago.
89mins: Ba gets in a shot from the right-hand angle of the box and De Gea has to go full length, but in doing so he is able to not only keep the ball out but also hold onto it. Good goalkeeper from the Spaniard.
87mins: Van Persie's work here is done - he comes off for the legendary Ryan Giggs, a man who has played at the stadium many times during his long and illustrious career.
86mins: Bigirimana is booked after arriving late on Cleverley in the centre of the pitch and doesn't argue against Howard Webb's decision.
83mins: As the visitors break forward in numbers, Yohan Cabaye goes down after a coming together with Van Persie on the edge of the area. Manchester United kick the ball out so the Frenchman can be treated and it's hard to see if Van Persie deliberately struck Cabaye, but the Newcastle man clearly believes he did.
77mins: A bit of banter between the two sets of fans - the Newcastle supporters up in the Leazes corner do the 'Poznan' celebration made famous by Manchester City and the visitors don't like it very much!
75mins: James Perch is booked for a slightly late tackle on Van Persie. The defender has a few words for the Dutchman, never the most sporting of players, but will know he probably deserved to be shown yellow.
71mins - MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL (0-3): What a goal from Tom Cleverley to wrap this game up for the Reds. Newcastle have threatened to get back into this but any hopes of a comeback are surely over now after the England youngster picked the ball up on the left and bent a sensational, dipping effort into the far corner. It was clearly deliberate and despite Harper soaring across his goal, he couldn't get a hand to that. If Manchester United's first two goals could have been defended better, there wasn't much that anybody could do about that stunning strike.
65mins: The brilliant Rooney pops up again with another delightful through-ball which is dinked past Harper by Van Persie, but the flag was already up against the Dutchman who seemed to know and didn't celebrate as the ball rolled into the net.
63mins: As Ben Arfa makes room for a low shot which goes just wide with De Gea again well beaten, Newcastle make a double change. Shane Ferguson and Papiss Cisse are off, with Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi on. Jonas Gutierrez goes to left-back with Anita in midfield and Ameobi going up top to try to ruffle a few feathers.
60mins: An awful slip by Tiote, as the Ivorian stumbles at the wrong moment, allows Rooney in and he races towards goal before bringing a fine stop out of Harper, who dives left and gets down well to parry before Tiote, trying to make up for his error, gets the loose ball away. A third goal for the Reds now would kill off the Magpies, who are ready to make at least one substitution shortly.
57mins: The ever-willing Welbeck scampered down the left and cut the ball back for Cleverley, who fired over, but still it's the hosts who are on top - they just need a goal to make this second half really interesting.
55mins: Newcastle have started the second half really well and create another chance as Santon plays the ball to Cabaye on the left and the Frenchman's cross is headed wide by Ba. Sir Alex Ferguson responds to the Magpies pressure by making a change, bringing on Antonio Valencia for Shiniji Kagawa.
50mins: Drama, real drama, at the Sports Direct Arena. Ferguson's high, hanging cross is missed by De Gea as Ba jumps and the striker's looping header hits the bar. Papiss Cisse is following up though and dives in with a header which looks to have crossed the line before the keeper manages to claw it back. It was so hard to be certain if the whole ball had crossed the line but it did look to be a goal - but nothing is given and that could really have changed the game.
46mins: With no changes for either side, Manchester United get the second half started with Newcastle now kicking towards the Leazes end as they search for a route back into this game. Today's attendance is 52,203.
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45+3mins: After Rooney hits the side-netting after another corner was only partially dealt with, the half-time whistle blows and Newcastle find themselves 2-0 down. The Magpies have improved after the second goal and if they can score early in the second half, could still turn this around but they're currently paying for an awful start to the game where they were totally outplayed by the Red Devils.
45+1mins: A free-kick 50 yards from goal is whipped in by Cabaye and headed goalwards by Cisse but the striker - who scored against the Reds in the Capital One Cup last month - sees his flicked effort go wide.
45mins: Ben Arfa dribbles towards the box and leaves Rooney on the ground as he makes space for a shot, but drags his effort wide. There will be a minimum of three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the half.
44mins: Another corner causes chaos for Newcastle, with Van Persie's delivery flicked on by Michael Carrick and Rooney only just failing to get a touch at the far post. Every time the Reds win a flag-kick, they look like scoring and that's a concern for Alan Pardew.
42mins: Gutierrez is deservedly booked for a late, late tackle on Kagawa. Had the Man United star made more of that, the card could even have been a different colour although the Argentine was quick to apologise for what was a mistimed attempt to win the ball rather than a cynical lunge.
41mins: Cabaye's glorious ball out to Santon creates a chance as the Italian bursts past Cleverley and into the box, only for his low cross to be half-cleared. Cabaye launches the ball back in and De Gea flaps, before Evra gets the ball to relative safety with a bicycle kick. Still United press though and eventually Ba heads wide. That's good pressure from the Magpies though.
38mins: Cisse wins a corner off Evra, Cabaye takes and the ball falls to Gutierrez right on the edge of the area. His drive is deflected just wide and from the next corner, Rio Ferdinand is able to head the ball clear although a foul was given against Newcastle anyway after De Gea was adjudged to have been blocked off as he attempted to claim the cross.
36mins: Rooney slides an ingenious ball through to Welbeck, but Williamson manages to keep pace with him and force him wide resulting in the striker driving a low effort across goal but without anybody close enough to force it home.
34mins: The Magpies' tails are up and after barely getting a kick in the opening exchanges, they're starting to make a game of this. Ba held the ball up well before teeing up Cabaye on the edge of the area and the midfielder's strike flies just over the bar with De Gea rooted to the spot - he wasn't getting near that if it had been a few inches lower.
33mins: Howard Webb is trying to stamp his authority onto this game and now books Tiote. The midfielder thought he'd won the ball cleanly from Rooney on the halfway line but the referee awarded a free-kick to Manchester United. Tiote's bemused reaction, which saw him go to his knees in shock and surprise, earns him a booking - the fourth of the afternoon and the first for a United player.
31mins: Now Van Persie - who had already angered Newcastle by fouling Jonas Gutierrez a couple of minutes earlier - goes into the book after diving in on Santon. Cheick Tiote squared up to the Dutchman and Webb books the striker.
30mins: Rio Ferdinand becomes the second Man United player to be shown a yellow card. He slid in from behind to try and nick the ball from Ba, but succeeded only in fouling the striker.
25mins: Davide Santon wins a corner off Cleverley on the right and Yohan Cabaye takes a clever set-piece, driving it in low for Demba Ba to hit after the striker had peeled off his man. Alas, his drive flew over the bar as he was closed down quickly by Evans.
21mins: Shinji Kagawa is the first player booked as the Man United midfielder trips Ben Arfa after the Frenchman had dribbled past him on the left and was about to attack the space in behind.
18mins: The ball bobbles around the Man United area and when Ben Arfa got to the left-hand byline and cut the ball back, Jonas Gutierrez was lurking when a red shirt poked it half clear. The Argentine let fly from 22 yards but with David De Gea struggling, it zipped just wide of the far post. At least it's an effort on goal from United, who seem to have changed shape since the second goal with Ben Arfa pushed further forward. It's now effectively a 4-3-3 formation.
16mins - MAN UNITED GOAL: But for a second time, Newcastle fail to deal with a corner and find themselves two down. This time it's Rooney's delivery from the left but it has the same result as Patrice Evra - one of the smallest men on the field - steals in to head the ball home, squeezing it inside Harper's post. There can be no complaints about the score - the visitors have been far superior - but the manner of the two goals is disappointing.
15mins: Harper needed to be at his best to keep out a curling free-kick from Rooney. Tom Cleverley was fouled by Cheick Tiote and Rooney took the dead ball from a central area, 20 yards from goal. It was creeping in but Harper, at full stretch, managed to push it behind.
12mins: Almost a comedy second goal for the Reds - but Steve Harper would not have been laughing had that gone in. The veteran keeper received a backpass from Mike Williamson but took a touch rather than clear it and was quickly closed down by Welbeck. The keeper tried to take the ball round him but was tackled by the striker, who then skipped past his attempted challenge and tried to guide the ball into an empty net from a narrowing angle but couldn't quite get it on target, much to Harper's relief. The keeper is quick to acknowledge his mistake and probably won't be trying that again.
11mins: With Newcastle yet to get a grip of the game, Van Persie chips the ball into space down the right for Rafael to streak onto it and drive a low shot just across goal. The full-back loves to get forward and did just that, with the Magpies chasing shadows up until now.
8mins - MAN UNITED GOAL (0-1): From the flag-kick, the Reds take the lead. Van Persie's inswinging delivery is met by the head of Jonny Evans and it's past the diving Harper in a flash. Alan Pardew will be disappointed that the defender managed to run onto the ball virtually unchallenged but it was a great header.
7mins: For all of the visitors' possession, it's a long ball over the top creates another chance for the Red Devils as Robin van Persie turns Mike Williamson and gets in a shot which Harper does well to block with his legs at the near post at the expense of a corner.
5mins: The first chance goes the the team in red, who have had virtually all of the possession so far. It was a nice move which saw Michael Carrick back-heel the ball into the path of Danny Welbeck and the England striker shot first time from 12 yards but didn't get enough power behind it to beat Steve Harper, who made a comfortable save. Sir Alex Ferguson's side have dominated so far.
1min: In front of what looks like a full-to-capacity Sports Direct Arena, we're underway as Newcastle take the kick-off through Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, attacking towards the Gallowgate end in this first period. The excitement beforehand was tangible and both teams came out of the tunnel to a huge roar. It's a clash made all the more special by the fact that both sides are in their home kits - Newcastle in their black and white stripes (available to buy here) and the visitors in their red and white strips. It promises to be a thriller - let's see if it delivers.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Steve Harper; David Santon, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Shane Ferguson (Vurnon Anita 63); Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote (Gael Bigirimana 80), Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 63)
Manchester United: (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra (c); Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick; Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney (Paul Scholes 80), Shinji Kagawa (Antonio Valencia 55); Robin Van Persie (Ryan Giggs 87)
Subs not used: Anders Lindegaard, Scott Wootton, Anderson, Javier Hernandez
Referee: Howard Webb